The Jaipur Foot: Challenges in Leading a Free Service Organization

by: Menaka Rao, U Dinesh Kumar

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-388

Core Disciplines: Accounting/Finance, Base of the Pyramid, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Honorable Mention – 2014 NextBillion Case Writing Competition. D. R. Mehta has run the BMVSS, which gives the Jaipur Foot (an artificial prosthetic, free of cost to disabled people) for years as a one-man show. Now the organization needs a successor. With Mehta leaving, would the sustainability of the organization be at stake? At the same juncture, the organization was also in an expansion mode—was it the right time? The organization was largely donor dependent; without Mehta, would there be financial sustainability for its long-term existence? Donor dependency also brought with it the deeper issue of donor fatigue, especially in India, where there are a large number of nonprofit organizations but a constant number of donors. How should the organization battle this issue?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Can the organization exist for another 37+ years with the new successor/s?
  • What strategy(s) would work for BMVSS to expand and spread its reach geographically?
  • How should BMVSS become financially sustainable?